The I Don’t Care Girl

 

The I Don’t Care Girl

Screenplay by Walter Bullock

Photography by Arthur E. Arling

Art Direction by Richard Irvine & Lyle Wheeler

Set Decorations by Raymond Boltz & Thomas Little

Costumes by Renié

Edited by Louis R. Loeffler

Music by Bernard Mayers, Cyril Mockridge & Herbert W. Spencer

Produced by George Jessel

Directed by Lloyd Bacon

Theatrical Release: 1953

 

Cast:

Mitzi Gaynor

David Wayne

Oscar Levant

Bob Graham

George Jessel

Craig Hill

Warren Stevens

Hazel Brooks

 

Production Studio:

Theatrical: 20th Century Fox

Video: Fox Cinema Archive

 

Video

Aspect ratio: 1.33:1

Resolution: 480

Codec: MPEG-2

Disc Type: DVD (VOD)

Bit Rate: Moderate (ca. 4.5~5.5 Mbps)

Runtime: 78 minutes

Region: 1

 

Audio:

English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono

 

Subtitles: None

 

Bonus Features: None

 

Presentation:

DVD Clamshell Case: VOD

Street Date: April 16, 2013


 

Uncritical Press:

IMDB (3 users)

This movie has been shown recently in England,so liking musicals,I decided to watch it.Curious mixture of voice overs,flashbacks and a film within a film, all packed tightly into less than 90 minutes. Mitzi Gaynor is astounding.The film works because of her. Although the period setting is earlier in the 20th Century,the dazzling production numbers are pure 50's.Paintbox bright colours are prevailant. Mitzi's costumes are spectacular. One wishes it was longer and more detailed,but it's an extremely agreeable way to spend 80 odd minutes. An entertaining curio.


             

 

It's a great pity but "The I Don't Care Girl" was indeed severely cut. Scenes and numbers were shuffled, scenes and numbers ended up on the cutting-room floor, scenes were re-filmed, Jack Cole was brought in (and even his 'I Don't Care' and 'Beale Street Blues' traded places so that the one designed to end the film, didn't, and the other one, with its scene to follow, did), until what was released (in 1953, rather than 1952) was the hodge-podge you see today. Yet despite all of the butchery the multi-talented Mitzi sets the screen on fire whenever she appears, whether it's in a dramatic scene or dazzling her way through those Cole-choreographed production numbers. Sadly we'll never see the complete version, or those cut numbers. Drat!

 

In spite of its imperfections, the film contains one of the most inspiring performances of any song in any film. Mitzi Gaynor becomes Eva Tanguay, insists on coming out into the audience, hits a star quality personality in the song "I don't care" when she sings - "Let down the gangway, for I'm Eva Tanguay, and I - DON'T - CARE!!!"


             

 

The Movie: 3

The eponymous star of this movie is one Eva Tanguay – and as much as the screenplay and execution makes it seem that the entertainer is fictitious, she’s not. A few remarks from Wikipedia: Eva Tanguay (August 1, 1878 – January 11, 1947) was a Canadian singer and entertainer who billed herself as "the girl who made vaudeville  famous". Although she possessed only an average voice, the enthusiasm with which the robust Eva Tanguay performed her suggestive songs soon made her an audience favorite. She went on to have a long-lasting vaudeville career and eventually commanded one of the highest salaries of any performer of the day earning as much as $3,500 a week at the height of her fame around 1910. Eva Tanguay is remembered for brassy self-confident songs that symbolized the emancipated woman, such as "It's All Been Done Before But Not the Way I Do It", "I Want Someone to Go Wild With Me," "Go As Far As You Like", and "That's Why They Call Me Tabasco" In showbiz circles, she was nicknamed the "I Don't Care Girl", after her most famous song, "I Don't Care".

             

The movie, as shown theatrically and here on this DVD, is mess. At a mere 78 minutes, it’s way too short for a musical that contains numbers with the kind of production values this has, reminiscent of the fanciful Minnelli’s Yolanda and the Thief. But it is painfully evident that the movie has been cut to shreds and the result is silly at worst and bewildering at best. Despite the presence of David Wayne and Oscar Levant, the leading man turns out to be Bob Graham in his first and last starring role. He has a fresh face and a certain dash, but brews no chemistry with Miss Gaynor. Too bad for all concerned.


            


Image: 2

Fox Cinema Archives, like Warner Archive, are not DVDs in the usual sense but burned just as we would do at home. They have no menus to speak of, only chapter advance every ten minutes. Unless “Remastered” (a term that is hard to wrap one’s mind around since it is unlikely we would have on hand the previous video version), these video discs are simply transferred “from the best materials available” and are thus entirely dependent on the condition of those sources.


Do not adjust the controls on your display. Yes, this really is about as bad as it gets. The image on this VOD/DVD is not lacking sharpness but is far too dark, oversaturated and too contrasty to be enjoyed or even tolerated. The costumes and art direction favor saturated colors to begin with and its high key lighting often results in many scenes on this DVD where shadows unintentionally consume most of the frame.


            

 

Audio & Music: 7/7

Fox’s minimalist approach to the transfer offers clear dialogue and well balanced stage effects and music. Nothing that stands out either way, which is as it should be.

 

Extras:

None.

 

Recommendation: 3

Despite its being disjointed and incomplete and sporting one of the most awful titles in movie history (despite its historical antecedent), The I Don’t Care would have got a higher recommendation if the image quality was up to snuff just to watch a fledgling 22-year old Mitzi Gaynor do her stuff.


             

 


Leonard Norwitz

© LensViews

March 15, 2013


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